This year has been a test of my strength + a lesson in whats important. I have always put my career before everything in my life. If I needed to do something often the people I love have suffered for it. In the beginning sometimes financially, now usually by taking the brunt of my stress, dealing with my absence, + feeling neglected. I feel like this might be why the chips have fallen in this particular fashion most recently.
I have suffered from severe depression since the age of 11 or 12. Soon followed by a diagnosis with panic disorder, later on generalized anxiety, + social anxiety. I experienced a 6 month long complete mental breakdown in 2008-2009 which left me more fragile than ever. Personally, I believe my soul is uncomfortable in a human body existing in this reality + therefore manifests in these types of human "diagnosis". I usually have a very clear winter/summer cycle. Winter I'm in full swing horror + summer I can get out + experience life again. This didn't happen this summer. I kept waiting for the weight to lift but summer grew warmer + I still had very little desire to do anything. I began to spiral downward. Everything that reminded me of being happy made me cry. I saw pictures of the ocean + it lead my to tears everytime. I thought a trip to Los Angeles would lift me up, but it only made things worse. It was a particularly disastrous trip ending a few friendships, physically being ill + took a toll on much more.
Now it's in the depths of winter + I'm still picking up the pieces. My life is not always how it looks in the public eye. I wanted to make this confession as a catharsis to myself but also maybe to help others. I am honest above all things + I never want to lie to my beautiful, supportive deamons + thats what I felt I was doing for a long time.
The Pain Project came as a result of all this. It was a truth I wanted to share. To show that no matter how successful, beautiful, loved, you are, things aren't always that perfect on the inside. My mental illness or spiritual illness has majorly impacted my career as well. I have not been performing because I haven't had the motivation to keep up all my business relationships, try to forge new ones, nor practice my craft.
I want to let you all know that your messages + extreme outpouring of support in response to the release of The Pain Project has meant more to me than any of you will ever know. Here are some beautiful quotes from responses:
"such a beautiful powerful woman should not be so sad but even in sadness you are beautiful"
"to see you make the best of bad is inspiring and probably the most creative project I've seen"
"Sharing this side of yourself shows how brave you really are"
"This is beautiful. As someone who deals with such illnesses I can't even imagine showing the world what I am at my weakest point."
And this particular quote came from a fellow Left Hand Path yogin who I feel understands the why of my illness more than anyone ever has from this quote:
"Goddess incarnate to men ov the world...
Every thing about a geisha life is life about art.
To be the absolute expression of feminine beauty.
To embrace it where ever it is, to breath it, speak it.
Leaving little trails and impressions on everyone that comes in contact
life is art at all costs.
When removed from the willow world the geisha is not understood not appreciated and seemingly useless to the the machine ov society.
When not in the role ov geisha, the geisha is a not a cog in the machine.
No longer a cog, the artist is devoured by the machine ov society.
For the geisha to consider leaving the willow world, dealing with the civilians, as most would, seems an impossible task, that's because it is.
When every cell ov her being has been cultivated over the life time as art, as life continues, the geisha will continue...until death."
- Jenna Jyoti
I have kept the quotes, except for the last + most meaningful, anonymous for obvious reasons. Here is my original statement from The Pain Project:
First of all I want to thank you all for being so supportive, loving + inspirational. I have been hiding a dark secret for sometime that I feel it is time to share, I suffer from severe clinical depression, a serious mental illness most people do not understand. I prefer to call it my spiritual illness because I feel like the intense energy of my soul has spent so much time in other dimensional realities that this manifestation on the earthly plain is difficult to cope with. The entire world seems built upside down. I have spent most of the past 6 months in bed or in meditation trying to figure out how to exist here, how to triumph, how to just be in a world + society that is built for people who can fit a mold. I simply not caple of degrading my being to say work a 9-5 job, enjoy going to bars + nightclubs, live in anything less than pure beauty. I am not saying that those of you functioning have degraded yourselves in anyway, I can respect people who can be happy fitting into a society built on money + honouring academia over art + spirituality. I just simply am not able to. I would rather pass out of this third dimensional reality than give up on my dream + live a "normal" life.
I was having a particularly dark moment + talking to my partner + best friend, Michael Scorpio about how I wish he was in town more often so he could somehow document the tragedy + this + we could make something beautiful out of it but I can never predict when its going to hit hard. So in a particularly dark moment not one that is so uncommon, armed with nothing but my pain + my iphone I began snapping photos of one of these most painful moments I go through somewhat regularly in an attempt to show a vulnerability. To be the most romantic stories are always one with elements of tragedy + pain + that makes the beautiful moments that much more beautiful. So I present to you something that takes great courage for me to publish, The Pain Project:
For the rest of the images please visit my official website post:
Thank you all for your ongoing support. It does help to know you are all around me, lifting me up. I believe I am getting better. I may never be free of this completely but any small moment of freedom from it is a blessing.